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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2012

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"Dream House" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook

movie-february-2012-dreamhouse

Synopsis

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) is a successful publisher who decides he has had enough of the stressful work world and retires to spend more time with his family.  He has just bought a nice house in the suburbs where he and his wife and two daughters are in the process of moving in and fixing the place up. Will soon learns of the murder that took place in the house a few years ago.  A man named Peter Ward was believed to have killed his wife Elizabeth and daughters Beatrice and Katherine.  Will is haunted by this Peter character and believes him to be stalking his family.  He decides to research the murders and get to the bottom of what really happened inside his home.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2011, Color, Not Rated, 92 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Codec: VC1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
  • Directed by Jim Sheridan
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Dream House is a very average movie.  I love Daniel Craig, but this was definitely not his finest performance and the same goes for his real-life wife, Rachel Weisz.  I do think this movie is best if you go into it not knowing a damn thing about it as it adds some interesting elements.  Unfortunately, I felt the director just didn’t have the skills to properly build the suspense and intrigue required for a movie like this.  It is possible this mess of a movie wasn’t entirely his fault as apparently he and producer James Robinson did not see eye to eye and Sheridan was stripped of final edit.  I suppose maybe rent it? Although, honestly, you would be fine passing on Dream House.

Technical

For the most part, the video quality on Dream House is very good, although I did find it a bit soft here and there. The muted, depressing tone is communicated very well here, as are the solid blacks and shadow detail. 

The audio mix left me wanting a lot more.  Usually these kinds of films play with your senses through clever uses of the surround channels.  Dream House was a fairly quiet film without much music or heart thumping sound effects.

Extras

“Burning Down the House” - short SFX featurette, “Building the Dream House” - short about the house a character, “The Dream Cast”, “A Look Inside”, and Theatrical Trailer.